Since first opening in 2013, Radio Rooftop Bar high above the Strand has secured its status as one of central London’s prime rooftop drinking destinations. But it’s also drawn its fair share of negative attention from customers stuck in queues or turned away at the door, by staff described in very unflattering terms across social media.
Timing is key. On a Monday evening, we were up on the terrace faster than a raincloud could appear. Service once we found a seat wasn’t quite so pacey, but that only buys you more time to absorb those extraordinary 360-degree views of every star of the London skyline.
The terrace is much like a slick Ibiza sun lounge – although you probably won’t find such plush blankets and patio heaters in the Balearic Islands. There’s a soundtrack to match, with background house beats a hit with the inevitable flashy Essex boys in town for a knees-up. (It’s worth noting that same-sex groups of more than five are barred.) It can be a strange mix of people here, spanning the aforementioned lad crew, older American tourists, fashionistas in floppy hats and work colleagues on awkward outings all rubbing shoulders.
Expect the usual rooftop prices, but if you’re just stopping in for a one-off drink with a view, wine (fizzy and still) is served by the glass. For summer sipping, G&T comes in fifteen forms, with different brands of gin, flavoured tonics and fruit infusions in the mix. With each costing £14, you’re paying for the altitude.
|Venue name:||Radio Rooftop Bar||Contact:|
336-337 The Strand
|Opening hours:||Mon-Wed noon-1am; Thur-Sat noon-2am; Sun noon-midnight|
|Transport:||Tube: Temple tube|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
1.8 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:4
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:5
- 1 star:49
What pretentious, cold, unwelcoming, rude, wooden, stuck-up staff! Gobsmackingly awful service and atmosphere provided by them. I have honestly never experienced ANYTHING like it. They actually look you up and down as if you are scum of the earth. The most bizarre business model ever. Such a shame as the views and decor are lovely, but my 20 + guests and I would be scared to go back to be honest.
Aside from any view regarding the venue. The DJ Stef guy was absolutely out-standing. Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL sound, juicy, seductive, infectious…you're a treasure dood. We'll be back! xx Lucy Stone
Aside from any view regarding the venue. The DJ Stef guy was absolutely out-standing. Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL sound, juicy, seductive, infectious…you're a treasure dood. We'll be back! xx Lucy Stone
Stunning views of London, lovely white sofas and yummy cocktails. Great when the weather is lovely, especially at sunset. Normal London prices. Also was great as we didn't have a table reservation but got one straight away. The staff are really friendly and accomodating which makes a change to London bars.
One of the Best Rooftop Bar is London has to be the Doubletree Hilton Tower of London, I stayed at the hotel there for 2 night while was vising a friends over the weekend. Me and my cousin went too the rooftop bar and the view was immense and the staff was very friendly and looking after me very as I was in the wheelchair. Allot of the other bars and hotel in London tent fob me away because they don't want a disabled person in a posh exclusive bar or night club they think It would lower the ambiance o the bar and its cliental.
Some of the most gorgeous views of London, beautiful cocktails and the most amazing Wagu Beef sliders I've ever eaten. Still reminiscing now. Only down side you can't book a table for more than 12 people, so any big birthdays, forget about it.
Great location and views - great potential but somehow does not live up to expectation, mainly due to service. I was allowed in after witnessing others being turned away, presumably because I was a smartly dressed solo female. I definitely got the vibe that its about how you look. And then the bar - I have drunk in a lot of smart and not-so-smart places but I have NEVER been charged upfront for service while ordering a drink at the bar! Its a smart place so I accept higher prices but I could not believe it when I examined my receipt to find that the £10.13 I was asked to pay for my G&T actually included £1.13 service! Call me pedantic but I think that IS rather cheeky, especially as the drink was ordered and served at the bar. Ambivalent about returning....
Fabulous! Lovely staff who always so friendly and chatty, yummy sliders and light bites, fantastic views and great music. Bit annoying that they always say it's at capacity unless you know 'someone', but I suppose they have to keep the clientele right. A must for any trendy Londoner!
I have had a number of nights out here. After work drinks on a Thursday, a cheeky Friday night out or a girls birthday celebrations on a Saturday night. No matter when I have been this place has always been rocking! with beautiful views of London and some extremely tasty cocktails this place is great for every type of event! If you don't book ahead on certain nights like a Saturday it can be a little hard to get in so either arrive early or get your name on the guestlist!
I just love the views! What more can I say, I love London, I love sunsets, great cocktails and being outside and this gave me all of that in one.
I would highly recommend to avoid this place - very rude and ignorant entrance staff (especially security guy who was working on the 9th August ' 15 in the evening).
First of all, if the people who supposed to look after reservations could do their job properly it would be highly appreciated - a simple email back saying "you're fully booked" would make a big difference as probably on Sundays getting back to people is not considered as part of the job..
Also, hiring or training Radio rooftop doormen to be AT LEAST professional enough and have good manners would help you out with future customers as I would never ever in my entire life recommend this place for any of my friends, colleagues or clients.
And for the record, your doorman suggested to write a bad review regarding his behaviour.
All in all, very disappointing representation of the place. I wish you all the best with your new future customers and highly recommend to carefully consider who is representing the Radio rooftop bar in the first place.
When making a reservation last night for a party of 10 I was told the minimum spend pp would be £75 for a 3-hour timeslot (17.30-20.30), and if I wanted to extend by an hour to 21.30 the minimum spend would jump to £100 pp. Failure to cancel within 24 hours results in a no-show charge of £20 pp.
As I tried to comprehend that shocking quotation, I was then asked in an oddly suspicious manner whether my party would be "mixed". Incredulous they would be asking what they appeared to be asking, I was given very rude clarification by the receptionist that Radio has a (highly questionable) policy that all large parties contain a roughly equal mix of men and women. She had to get "approval" from her manager when I highlighted that my small gay wedding celebration would consist mostly of men.
Luckily for Radio the manager was more obliging than the receptionist seemed to be, but I felt like I was asking a cheeky "favour" or to be "granted permission" to spend a shocking amount of money for an fairly restricted amount of time. The whole conversation left me feeling extremely unpleasant and I will be cancelling this reservation after finding a number of much better options.
There is no excuse for treating paying customers to a laundry list of miserly rules and questionable policies. If what others here are saying about reservations not being honoured and other service issues are true, I'm even more shocked at the absurd price tag. I strongly recommend that people not patronise a business which operates in this manner.
An utter bunch of jobsworths. I managed to get a seat at about 5.30 and waited for my friend to arrive. He was unfortunately delayed and didn't turn up into just before 6.30. I had a seat for him and a beer waiting. When he turned up he, along with about a dozen other people queuing, were told they were not allowed in because of 'safety', ie too many people. What a load of BS. The bar was more empty at 6.30 than it was at 5.30. We had a seat for god's sake.
The staff upstairs were also really offhand. The woman 'in charge' couldn't give a flying f***.
Will not be going back. ever. Don't waste your time.
Pretentious really is the word for this bar. I've been to many top bars and hotels around the world and it's perfectly possible for a bar to be classy, exclusive, prestigious without being up itself - which is exactly what this place is.
Can honestly say I have never written a review before in my life ... However having just got home after a fantastic afternoon at Me Radio rooftop bar and after reading some of the ridiculous reviews proir to our visit I feel the need to comment ... The staff were more than welcoming from arriving off the street to being showed to our table and even though our table wasn't quite where we wanted it , it only took one request and we were moved with no hassle at all .. The waitresses and especially the front of house lady were more attentive than most of the restaurants I have ever visited in the whole of London ... the tapas were some of the best tapas we have ever eaten .... Looking for a fantastic rooftop bar in town , with a great atmosphere , views , great food and drink then ME rooftop bar is for you !
Are you serious? Shame on you TimeOut! This place is where cool went to die, a shambolic wreck, unless you are a low-grade footballer or wallet-chasing scrubber. Aside from all the pretentious twats (literally) parading in front of each other, the staff are thieves. Each time I went to the bar, they over-charged me with extra drinks, thinking that either I would be too drunk to notice, or as vacuous as the rest of the clientele and simply not notice. When challenged, the sheer level of snottiness beggared belief. Oh and don't forget the 12.5% service charge added to the bill just for privilege of a bartender serving the drink at the bar? Honestly, my skin creeps when thinking about this place. The fact that you continue to recommended shows the plummeting Timeout standards. If I could give minus stars, I would. I feel dirty and ashamed at having been there, and that was 6 months ago.
Agree with below: I called to make an enquiry for a staff event for the rooftop bar. If the way Emanuella spoke to me on the phone was any indication of service to be received we will not be booking there. She made it seem like the £60k min spend proposed was not even worth speaking to me about. no problem, we will take our money elsewhere.
We had pre-booked and they even confirmed in writing that were looking forward to us, particularly as we had been there before (hence the re-booking) and spent significantly.
This was our Christmas event and indeed, had a client with us who had flown over from Australia the day before to be there.
How embarrassing was it to then be told on the door that we could not attend, whist other groups were allowed in. In addition the way we were told was discourteous, rude, pretentious, and basically they did not care. Our client was not impressed.
Please do not believe if you have confirmation of a booking from them, that they will honour it or even care who you are. Do not have your Christmas ruined.
Shockingly bad management, terrible customer service, dreadful security.
It seems like the concept here is to artificially create some buzz and demand by making people queue to get to this place. We waited 20 min in a queue, even though we had a reservation, just to find the bar half empty upstairs. Security were begging for a bribe, then a hostess demanded "a tip" and then Security again were trying to make us pay them to avoid a minimum "per table" spend.
The staff upstairs were bored, tired and looked like they could not care less - no smiles, no eye contact, very slow service. Plastic cups, overpriced cocktails and more Security looking at you like they do not want you to be there.
Londoners, don't go here, I urge you. Rude staff and very over rated . Spend your money elsewhere. Really not worth the wait or hype
Agree with almost all of the comments here. I don't understand the need for a server to judge the person they allow in. I did not feel comfortable even asking for entry to the rooftop bar. The arrogance does not just end here, it is apparent they hire on similar attributes throughout their staffing. It is almost as if they don't want your money. Ugly in so many ways! No class!
This is a dreadful place; it starkly demonstrates the ease with which human beings will subject themselves to be "chosen" or "unchosen," offering nothing more than a nice view for bait. If you must go, bring these two things: a sharp eye for satire and someone else's money.
Twat bars and their staff like this should be banished to Canary Wharf to avail themselves of other pretentious idiots
Wasted with a bird + clipboard on the door. I didn't 'not get in' but it's a shame that they do this....... not very cool.
Something has gone terribly wrong with this place. I started going here when the hotel opened and it was a great place to hang out - especially in the summer. The last couple of times that I have been there the crowd had changed and one of my business associates actually got propositioned by a hooker. This was all highly embarrassing. I will be avoiding this place from now on. I am not sure what the door policy is but it does not work for me as a place to hang out any longer. London is full of truly great places and the Radio Bar is no longer one of them.
A lesson in how NOT to do customer service. How NOT to do anything in fact! Went there with friends at 7p.m. on a Thursday to a huge queue. After 20 minutes, queue hadn't budged and everyone was starting to get agitated, before the number of people leaving the queue was matched by the number joining. Brilliant way to waste time standing in the cold on a Thursday! So decided I'd try booking next time. Automated announcement advised me I was 4th in line and two minutes to wait. Ten minutes later I was second in the queue, and after another five minutes was listening to an effeminate voice repeating "Thank you for calling Radio Rooftop Bar. Our reservations team will be with you as soon as possible. Thank you for continuing to hold" ad nauseaum. Gave up. Tried a few hours later and got through after "three minutes" (25 minutes actually!) and was told there would be a £100/person minimum spend required for a reservation. My reply. "F*ck off".
I wish I had read these reviews before trying to get in last night. We were turned away because they "only accepted mixed groups". We were a gay couple and another male friend. Hardly a stag party. Certainly won't be going anywhere near that hotel again.
Went with some overseas clients after a business lunch. After being asked by the rude manager to drink water (we had only shared 3 bottles of wine between 6!), they said we were too loud, we werent! Their next option was to have six burly bouncers surround us and inform us we had to leave otherwise we would be physically removed. I am been working/drinking in London for 25 years and this bar has visions of grandeur, which cant be backed up with service. We moved over to SushiSamba which was much more pleaseant. Their are plenty of other IT places to be seen that beat this hands down.Avoid at all costs
I agree with 1 star comments as we could not get in + rude door attenders told booking needed a month in advance – forget it !!! Went to Shard instead view was amazing service ok.
If you like queuing or being given claptrap excuses and refused entry this is for you. Trouble is its not the Ministry and its not 1994. Someone should tell the trio on the door... This used to be a bank. Monday evening, not busy, colleagues upstairs had a table with 2 spare chairs. We were not admitted at 6ish on the basis it was full (which it wasnt ), and a party of 29 people were about to arrive ( absolute bull given one supposedly cant book for more than 12 - and we have tried before). We wont be back even though we work over the road. I hope in the depths of midwinter the chap with the clipboard still has a job. No burnt ego just realised a long time ago life is too short - you can experience the view on the website.
Great bar, just don't ask if the toilet is ready to clean or you will get asked to leave. Yes, really, that's what happened to me! Better views at the rooftop bar at double tree. Please do not spend your valuable cash here!
What the OMG.....Called to book a table, option - £100 spend per person for lunch....eh no thanks, just would like a light lunch and leave and take in some views of London.....Poor service.......defo will not be going back...
I was absolutely appalled by the door staff's rude and unacceptable attitude! They don't know how to treat customers. Iv been to many bars clubs and hotels around London but have never had such despicable treatment...ABSOLUTELY AWFUL!
I'd love to know how they've wound up with a three star rating on here. Doesn't hat suggests that over 50 percent of people gave it a good review? Maybe I've got too much time on my hands, but out of the 32 reviews below, 25 people gave them 1 star, 2 gave 2 stars, 2 - 3 stars, 0 - 4 stars and 3 - 5 stars. As a percentage that's 78% giving 1 star and only 9% giving 5 stars. Mmm. I know where I won't be going for a rooftop bar experience. Can't stand pretentious places full of people out to be seen to be cool. Pathetic. Another one star coming up ;-)
Highly pretentious crowd, poor quality staff and service, views are great but the bar does not complement this with its service, you have a much better experience at Aqua the Shard, Franks rooftop, Queen of Hoxton etc..
I hope you guys are reading all the negative comments and I was wondering what are you doing about it? You've got a lovely view but you need to look after your customer.
Doesn't deserve one star, rude door staff, pretentious place, try 'Franks Bar' in Peckham, or 'Madisons' rooftop bar at one new change... at least everyone is welcome there..
I always wonder when reading negative reviews where the hurt egos end and real facts start. With regards to the Radio Rooftop Bar I sadly have to agree with only 50% of the comments simply because after 2 & ½ hour queue (FACT) we were denied the view of this ‘sleek, glammed-up, ‘Sex and the City’ destination’. I have now learnt that ‘bar at full capacity’ is a better word to turn the ‘unwanted’ away – how else would you explain the door staff still letting friends and ‘fabulous people’ jumping a queue of mostly tired and yet still smiling ‘commoners’? After 1 and ½ hour wait, my friend and I were next in line to become fashionable immortals and finally join the gods sipping cocktails in this brand new Olympus of Aldwich. One more hour went by and not a sign, nor a word, or even eye contact from the tall lady at the door holding the clipboard and sharing jokes with her colleagues. She also decided that it was absolutely acceptable to turn her back to us for most of the time and leave us to wonder whether she would ever unlock the cord between us and the most pretentious entrance to a bar I have ever come across in my life. The rest of the experience you can gather from other people that have actually managed to cross that line……alas I was not one of the lucky immortals to be chosen to grace this current bastion of coolness. It is now my mission to make sure that my –dreadful- experience of the Radio Rooftop Bar ‘entrance’ is shared with everyone I know. Places like this kill the spirit of London, a city where the very diversity of its people creates the exceptional experience that is London…Do the ‘only-fabulous ghettos’ have a place in this? Perhaps they do but I don’t think I will be wasting any more of my time to experience what they think they have to offer!